Belief in the Divine Scriptures
Why Believe in the Revealed Books?
Away from the settlement of Makkah the Messenger of Allah Hadrat Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to meditate in the solitude of the cave of Hira, when one day, Hadrat Jibril (Alaihis Salam) appeared suddenly to him and asked him: O Muhammad, read. Hadrat Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied that, I cannot read. Then Jibril clasped him tightly and said, “Iqra” [read]. Hadrat Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) trembling replied that I cannot. Thus he repeated his words thrice and Hadrat Muhammad (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave the same reply. Ultimately, Hadrat Jibril (Alaihis Salam) recited:
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ (1) (العلق: 1)
(Translation of meaning) [“Read in the name of your Creator who created . (Al-‘Alaq: 1)].
After this encounter Hadrat Jibril disappeared and a frightened Hadrat Muhammad came home trembling and soaked in sweat. Then he said:
« زَمِّلُونِي زَمِّلُونِي »
[“Cover me up, cover me up” (Al-Bukhari)].
His consort Hadrat Khadijah (RadhiAllahu Anha) covered him (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with a blanket and comforted him (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Thus was settled the matter of selection of the last Messenger of Allah on earth so that he (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would call people to the worship of Allah and that the religion revealed to him become the final religion of the mankind. It was the first instance of the revelation of the Quran which was to become a source of guidance for the whole mankind as well as a miracle in proof of the prophethood of Hadrat Muhammad against which no human being could present a rival verse. The Quran is the sole source of guidance for the mankind on this earth. Allah had revealed similar books to his apostles in the past ages. Along with the belief in the Quran, therefore, every believer is also obliged to believe in all the past divine scriptures. Some of the known scriptures are the Torah, the Psalms, Injil [the Bible] and the Book of Abraham. In addition, Allah revealed so many other Books which are not mentioned in the holy Quran. Thus Allah has proclaimed:
كَانَ النَّاسُ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ النَّبِيِّينَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمْ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِيمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَتْهُمْ الْبَيِّنَاتُ بَغْياً بَيْنَهُمْ فَهَدَى اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَا اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ مِنْ الْحَقِّ بِإِذْنِهِ وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ (213) (البقرة: 213)
(Translation of meaning) [“The people were a single community [following the same path but afterwards differences arose] then Allah sent his apostles who were annunciators [for the righteous] and warners [for the evil-doers] and revealed to them the true books so that it could settle the differences that had arisen among the people about the truth [and the emergence of such differences was not due to the fact that the people were not informed of the truth beforehand] but the differences were created by those who had already been given the knowledge of truth. They forsook the truth even after getting clear guidance and invented different ways only because they wanted to transgress among themselves. Thus those who believed in the apostles were shown the true path by the permission of Allah in matters they differed about. And Allah guides whom He wishes to the straight path” (Al-Baqarah: 213).
The Scriptures of Hadrat Ibrahim and Hadrat Musa: Allah revealed some scriptures to Hadrat Ibrahim [Abraham] and Musa [Moses] which have been described in the holy Quran in this way:
أَمْ لَمْ يُنَبَّأْ بِمَا فِي صُحُفِ مُوسَى (36) وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ الَّذِي وَفَّى (37) (النجم : 36-37)
(Translation of meaning) [“Was he not informed of what was contained in the Scriptures of Musa and Ibrahim who fulfilled [his pledge]?”(An-Najm: 36-37)].
In another place it is declared:
إنَّ هَذَا لَفِي الصُّحُفِ الأُولَى (18) صُحُفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى (19) (الأعلى: 18-19)
(Translation of meaning) [“Verily, this is contained in the earlier scriptures; the Scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa” (Al-A’la: 18-19)].
As narrated by Hadrat Abu Dhar Ghifari, once he asked the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about the scriptures of Hadrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salam). The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied that: All of them were aphorisms. For instance, “O arrogant king! I did not send you to this world so that you could accumulate wealth but I made you king so that you would listen on my behalf to the grievances of the oppressed and redress them. I never turn down the entreaty of even a disbeliever.” A thinking person passes his time in such a way that part of his time is spent in invoking Allah in his privacy, part of his time is spent on self-examination, part of his time is spent on introspection over the creation of the universe, and part of his time is spent on fulfilling his human needs including the provision for the necessities of life.
A wise man makes journey only for three purposes: first, for the sake of preparation for the Hereafter; second, for the sake of provision for material necessities of life; and third, for the enjoyment of the permissible and legitimate pleasures of life. A wise man ought to keep his finger on the pulse of time, concentrate on his own work and keep control over his tongue. Anybody who realizes that his speech is also one of his practical responsibilities his tongue will move only when required otherwise he will keep silent.
Hadrat Abu Dhar further narrated that he asked the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about what was in the Scriptures of Hadrat Musa (Alaihis Salam). The Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) replied that they contained discourses to be followed. For instance, there was a narration that “I am surprised over that man who believes in death but still keeps on merrymaking; I am surprised over a man who believes in Hell but keeps on laughing; I am surprised at the man who believes in divine Predetermination but becomes desperate; I am surprised over a man who looks at the ups and downs of the world but keeps contented with it; I am surprised over a man who despite knowing that tomorrow he will be reckoned does not perform good deeds (Ibn Habban and Ha’kim).
Torah was revealed to Hadrat Musa [Moses] (Alaihis Salam). Whoso apostles succeeded him were ordained to implement this Book. This was a code of law for them. Allah declares:
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا لِلَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالأَحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُوا مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُوا عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاءَ فَلا تَخْشَوْا النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِي وَلا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الْكَافِرُونَ (44) (المائدة:44)
(Translation of meaning) [“Verily, We revealed Torah which contained guidance and light. The Apostles who submitted [to Me] decided the affairs of those who became Jews, as well as the Rabbanis [Jewish Spiritual Leaders] and Ahbar [the Jewish Theologians] with what they had grasped from the Book of God, and who were made responsible for the preservation of the Book of God, and they were witness to it. [So O community of Jews!] Fear not the people, but fear me. And do not sell out My symbols in lieu of a petty price. And those who do not judge according to the commandments of Allah they are the very disbelievers” (Al-Maedah: 44)].
Zabur [The Psalms]
The Zabur [Psalms] were revealed to Hadrat Dawood [David] (Alaihis Salam). Allah declares:
وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُوراً (55) (الإسراء: 55)
(Translation of meaning) [“And We granted Dawood the Psalms” (Isra: 55)].
The Psalms contain lofty themes of wisdom. They are full of praise and glorification of God. They do not lay down the norms of halal and haram. For the latter the people were directed to refer to the Torah.
Injil [The Bible]
The Bible was revealed to Hadrat Isa [Jesus Christ] (Alaihis Salam). Allah declares in the holy Quran:
وَقَفَّيْنَا عَلَى آثَارِهِمْ بِعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ مُصَدِّقاً لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنْ التَّوْرَاةِ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الإِنجِيلَ فِيهِ هُدًى وَنُورٌ وَمُصَدِّقاً لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ مِنْ التَّوْرَاةِ وَهُدًى وَمَوْعِظَةً لِلْمُتَّقِينَ (46) (المائدة: 46)
(Translation of meaning) [“And We sent in their [prophets] wake Isa the Son of Maryam to uphold what was before him of the Torah and granted him the Injil containing guidance and light which also upheld what was before him of the Torah, and guidance and light for the pious beings” (Al-Maedah: 46)].
In another place it is mentioned that:
ثُمَّ قَفَّيْنَا عَلَى آثَارِهِمْ بِرُسُلِنَا وَقَفَّيْنَا بِعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ وَآتَيْنَاهُ (27) (الحديد: 27)
(Translation of meaning) [“And then We sent in their wake our Apostles, and followed them with Isa the Son of Maryam, and granted him Injil” (Al-Hadid:27)].